7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Lapland Odyssey (DVD)
The Lapland is a territory - frozen landscape, as it has been described - in northern Finland, in which "there are areas where the unemployment rate is 40%. In the winter, you barely see the sun. In the summer it doesn't go down, so people can't sleep and go crazy." You can't go wrong in making a movie about and under these conditions, and the hilarious and original "Lapland Odyssey" is a perfect example - a colorful - and I mean colorful -- Finnish movie.
Directed by Dome Karukoski, the film opens with a historical tree in the Lapland, from which several men throughout history have committed suicide by hanging themselves for assorted reasons, mainly because of bad luck. The narrative of each of these suicides is very funny and sets the tone for what is about to come. It turns out that, like in the US, all TV sets went digital in Finland in 2007, and to get transmission, you had to purchase a digibox. It is under these conditions that we go to Janne (Jussi Vatanen) and Inari's (Pamela Tola) household. Inari is not happy with Janne, who has been unemployed for a while, and she is justifiably loosing her patience. She instructs - orders, that is - Janne to go and get her a digibox so that she can watch "Titanic" on TV. If he fails, she will leave him. Being Friday night, it is almost impossible to accomplish such a life or death task. However, Janne enlists his buddies Kapu (Jasper Pääkkönen) and Tabio (Timo Lavikainen), and off they go. What follows is just funny and surreal, as these guys will face Inari's ex-boyfriend, the cops, vehicle accidents, Russian mobsters, snow storms... In short, luck is not on their side. But Janne is determined to get the digibox, no matter what.
"Lapland Odyssey" is not only funny, but the colors, due to great cinematography by Pini Hellstedt, give us an idea of the immense power of the solitude, the landscape, and the weather that the people that inhabit those areas have to endure. Awesome, just awesome. The DVD also includes "Burungo," a short film by Dome Karukoski, and booklet describing the film and an interview with the director. (Finland, Iceland, Sweden; 2010; color; 96 min plus additional materials)
Reviewed on January 8, 2012 by Eric Gonzales for Artsploitation Films.